Target Refuses To Honor "Free Shipping" Promotion

Reader James saw the above “free shipping” promotion on and decided to order the entire “collection,” only to find that just one part of the “collection” qualified for “free shipping,” and he’d need to pay a $154 shipping charge.

James writes to Target:

I would like to express my displeasure at the misleading advertising around the Adams Craft Table Collection. When I go to the main page for this furniture collection it CLEARLY says the following: free shipping, Adams Craft Table Collection, 15% off furniture orders over $125, $69.99-$199.99

So this CLEARLY states that this collection has free shipping, has items priced between $69.99 and $199.99, and is eligible for 15% off. However, this free shipping apparently only applied to the $69.99 chair. I did not find this out until I had gone all the way top checkout and was hit with a $154 shipping fee.

I called and the lady I talked to said “yes, I see that is confusing but I cant do anything about it”. I am hoping you can do something about. I want this item, with the discount and the free shipping because that is what you advertised. I have very clear screen prints of that.

James has been going back and forth with Target. He keeps getting variations on the following letter:

Dear James [redacted],

First, please allow me to express my sincere apologies for any frustration that has been caused. It is certainly not our intention for our guest to have anything but a pleasant experience at our store.

Please note that eventhough the “Adams Craft Table Collection” is stated as free shipping, only the selected item “Adams Craft Stool – Soft Black” is showing as free shipping at the top of the item description.

As my colleague previously told I checked our web site and found that only “Adams Craft Stool – Soft Black” item in “Adams Craft Table Collection” collection is eligible for free shipping. Hence you were charged for shipping while placing an order.

Please note that if the item is eligible for “free shipping”, it will be in red letters above the item’s name, we’ll cover the cost of standard shipping. If it doesn’t say “free shipping” when you place your order, there will be a shipping charge.

Also note that this promotion was only valid during a certain period of time. In order to take advantage of the offer, your order had to be placed during that time.

I’m sorry if this wasn’t clear when you were placing your order.

Here’s how we figure out the shipping charge for your order:

-First we charge a “per shipment” fee for each shipment. This fee depends on what categories of merchandise you’re ordering and what shipping method you choose. -Then we add a fee for each item, usually by weight. These fees also depend on merchandise category and shipping method. -Also, if it’s an oversize item there may be a special-distance fee, depending on the shipping address. – There are also a few items that require special handling and have their own flat fee.

Shipping charges are an unavoidable part of using a mail-order service, but we know that they can seem a nuisance.

Whenever, you place an order, you will see the shipping cost details in the review page before you actually place the order that will show you the shipping costs.

However, I have forwarded your message onto the appropriate person in our company for future consideration. We’re always looking at ways to make even better and your comments are a big help to us.

For your future reference:

There are also a few things you can do to keep your shipping charges down:

-Plan ahead: If you know you’re going to need more than one item from us, order them both at the same time instead of waiting until you need each one. Shipping things together costs less than shipping them separately.

-Be patient: If you have a little leeway in your schedule, choose standard shipping instead of 1-day or 2-day. It takes longer, but it costs less.

-Bundle up: When checking out, choose the “Group items into as few shipments as possible” option. Some of your items may arrive a little later than if you sent them separately, but reducing the total number of packages is going to save you money.

To see all of the free shipping offers going on right now, go to this page:

Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience caused in this regard.

Thanks for your continued patience and understanding. We value your business and hope to see you again at

Best regards,

Ravishankar Guest Service

The collection is pretty clearly marked “free shipping.” Even if this is a mistake, Target should honor the advertised promotion and then correct the error.

Adams Craft Table Collection []

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